Anti-Social Media     

Anti-Social Media     

I’ve been taking a social media vacation. I needed a break. The more people I speak with, it seems that I am not alone. Others are also spending less time in their online communities yearning for a simpler way of life without the need for constant connection.

How is it that the very thing called social media has actually created a world that feels more lonely than ever before? Why does it now take effort to post, click, and interact, when it used to be light and fun? Why are many of us feeling anti-social with a need to disconnect?

There are a number of factors at play. The main reason this is happening is because we are actually having less and less physical interaction and the cyber world of likes, friends, and emoji’s has attempted to replace communication and connectedness. The bubble we’ve created of online dating and socializing has finally hit us hard. We’ve become burned out from this seemingly artificial way of feeling loved.

The problem is that we have forgotten what it’s truly like to bond and have intimate relationships which can only be created by speaking, listening and being present with another human being. Instead, we partially get involved when in truth, it isn’t a complete relationship. If we aren’t talking on the telephone, facetiming, or meeting up for coffee, then it’s somehow inadequate. Is it better than nothing? Probably. But when it comes to feeding our souls and uplifting our spirits, it may just be having the opposite effect.

With an increase in depression and suicide rates, it has shown that over time, this world of online chatter can magnify our feelings of loneliness, and leave us feeling depleted and unsupported. To top it off, if we’re already feeling down and then tune in to other’s fabulous lives on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, it only deepens our isolation.

Maybe it’s time to do a social media detox. Here is how:

  • Take a Break– Especially if you’re struggling emotionally or spiritually, stop scrolling through your social media accounts. The world will not end if you take 7 days away from your feed.
  • Replace it– Once you start your week long detox, replace your social media time doing something else. What excites you creatively that you’ve been putting off? When was the last time you read a book or took a class? How can you get back into real life instead of your online one?
  • Stop the Habit– Any habit or addiction takes work to overcome. You’ll need to literally make conscious efforts to leave your phone in the car or in a different room in order to be more fully present in your life. If you’re out with friends, stop with the impulsive need to check your accounts and BE HERE NOW.
  • Back to Basics– Start booking lunches and hikes with friends and make a point of bonding physically. Reach out to old friends in order to reconnect. If you’re looking to date, spend less time on the dating apps and more time at networking events or social gatherings. There is nothing more important than that we have physical connection, especially with those that lift us up.
  • Change Your Routine– It is so easy to do the same thing over and over again and sometimes structure is a good thing. But during this cleanse, force yourself to do something different. Finally book that group bowling or karaoke night or take a two-day getaway without the need to post every single detail about your trip.
  • Delegate – If you use social media for work purposes, hire somebody to help. There are plenty of people who can take over and assist with your online messaging. Learning to let go and asking for help will free you up and make room for exciting new opportunities and relationships.
  • Selfies to Selfless– For goodness sakes, stop with the selfies already. Feeling the need to capture every moment of your day is just boring and truth be told, nobody really cares about what you ate for lunch. Instead, be present in what is and breathe in every second instead of looking for the perfect lighting and backdrop for your next photo.

If you’re like me, you may feel more isolated and disconnected than ever. While it’s easy to blame social media, we cannot be held captive any longer. We must make a conscious choice to break free from this modern way of being and get back to living life fully. Spending time in nature, enjoying community, relaxing over candlelight and wine, and listening to soothing music are some examples of how to do this.

If you’re feeling burned out it’s up to you to make choices that lift you back up. The very thing that we have come to rely on to make us happy and to give us a sense of support, is doing the opposite. There is no better time to take a break and see what it’s like to enjoy yourself without the busyness of our online world. Day by day, start to cleanse and recreate new habits that are life-enhancing, heart opening, and ultimately, the way things were meant to be.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness and Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

Back to Basics – 7 Steps to Simplify Your Life

Back to Basics – 7 Steps to Simplify Your Life

Have you ever found yourself saying “I am done with Facebook,” or “I wish I could throw my cell phone into the ocean?” If so, you are not alone. Needing a simpler, less hectic life seems to be on the minds of many. What was once invented to bring us closer together, social media and modern technology only seems to be having the opposite effect. We are lonelier and more isolated than ever.

To top that off, we have busier schedules, we’re eating less healthy, convenient food on the run, and we have added stress which are all recipes for disaster.

But underneath the frenzy of life in our modern world is a more basic existence, one that will help us to find our equilibrium, re-fuel, and remind us to embrace simplicity while experiencing more bliss and joy along the way.

Less Screen Time– If you’re like me, you’re somewhat addicted to checking your cell phone. Many of us feel an impulse to open Facebook and Instagram, or to respond to a recent text or email. These days, people expect us to reply immediately and so we feel an added pressure to do so. Like any habit, we need to learn to break it. Reprogramming your brain to be less impulsive is key but it takes practice. If you’re watching TV or cooking for example, keep your phone in another room and work on being 100% focused on the task at hand. Leave your cell in the car or in your bag under the table during a dinner with friends. In the beginning, you may have to force yourself to be more present but in time, you will create a new routine and in turn, you’ll experience better relationships and more fulfillment.

Back to Basics With Food– Our grandparents had the right idea. Consuming foods as close to nature as possible is imperative to good health. Chopping, preparing, cooking, and chewing fresh, organic food and produce helps us to de-stress and get back to enjoying the simpler things in life. Way too often we eat standing up, on the run, or between meetings. Make the time for family dinners or treat yourself to a home-cooked meal regularly. Shop at your local farmer’s market. Chew slowly, savor each bite, and give thanks for the blessing of the nourishment.

Nature Time– For those of us who are city dwellers, this can be a challenge. Take regular time out in nature.  A nap under a tree or walk on the beach has enormous physical, spiritual and emotional benefits. Standing barefoot on grass or sand, also known as grounding, has been well documented to benefit our overall health. Include time in the outdoors each week with family or friends and reap the rewards of re-connecting with our earth.

Superfoods Vs. Supplements– There is a trend moving away from synthetic supplements towards fresh, organic, and raw superfood powders and capsules. Our body wants a pure and natural diet the way nature intended. Often, artificial supplements aren’t recognized by our body which means they may not be giving us the benefits that we expect. Look for the words raw, organic, non-GMO, and superfoods on labels. Get into the routine of consuming these daily and if you do require convenient food on the run, use these powerful and concentrated immune-boosters in place of processed, fast food.

Do Less– Being a workaholic has probably gotten you far in your career but most of us need to slow down especially if we’re feeling isolated, depressed, tired, or burned out. Often, we don’t realize we’re stressed until it’s too late. Take time NOW to pursue a creative project, rest, meditate, travel, or see a movie. Strive for more balance and don’t wait. Today is the best day to let yourself off the hook and stop pressuring yourself to do so much. Even when you are passionate about your work, down time is always important.

De-Clutter– Many people are side-tracked by all of their stuff. In their off time they are cleaning, organizing, shuffling, or busy shopping for more. While enjoying the many beautiful things this world has to offer is not a bad thing, why not try a little downsizing? Get rid of your old clothes, books, and clutter that is hanging around and getting in the way of your freedom. Extra stuff actually stifles our energy and by clearing things that no longer serve us, we not only make room for new energy, but we also free up physical and energetic space which allows us to feel more focused and calm.

Walk Don’t Drive– This is almost unheard of for those who live in Los Angeles but honestly, would it kill us to walk a few blocks? Do you have any idea what you’re missing by driving everywhere? The people. The local businesses. The neighborhood gatherings. The beautiful nature. They’re all awaiting you. Part of the reason people in larger cities feel isolated is because we spend so much time in our cars. Get out, mingle, walk, say hi to a stranger, make eye contact, and take in the awesomeness of your surroundings.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!